HOMILY: 13TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME 2020
Have you ever thought why we cannot love two persons or two things at the same time? The church does not allow man or woman for a second marriage until one is dead or previous marriage is annulled. Priests do not marry once we get ordained. We judge a person as liars and unfaithful when he or she is linked with another man or woman. We have bad impression about priests who were linked with women. We admired one who has given up his profession to be a full parent because they realized that they do not have enough time for their family. There are some who chose to live in poverty just to focus in raising their children. We certainly dispute the lyrics of this song “so please understand my situation, I love you but I cannot be with you, if I could be in two places at the same time”. We would definitely say this song is absurd. However, we would really agree that this song is sensible, “turn between two lovers feeling like a fool, loving both of you is breaking up the rule”.
We are now on the 13th Sunday in ordinary Time and the readings that we have proclaimed invite us to reflect the simplicity of love. Saint Thomas Aquinas teaches us that GOD IS SIMPLE which means He is not composed or divisible by any physical or metaphysical means. In other words He is one. If God is love, therefore love must also be simple. Jesus in the gospel is challenging us, whoever loves his mother and father more than me is not worthy of me. God is asking us that when we love, we have to give everything to our beloved. He does not want half hearted people but wholehearted people. This is exactly what He did for us that he had given everything for us including his precious life. Perhaps you may doubt God’s sincerity that if He is indeed God He should not compel us choose between parents and God. We can love them both. Abraham was also caught in this dilemma when God asked him to choose between God and his son of whom he courageously chose God over and above his only son. He is already willing to lose him when eventually God prevented him to kill his only son. He did lose his son but he became the father of all nations.
To love the Lord is to die for and with the Lord. Saint Paul in his Letter to the Romans said if we die with Christ we will also live with Christ. The ultimate proof of love is ones readiness to die for his beloved. I remember the very first Filipino saint he was persecuted and killed in Japan. He was assured, we will spare you from death on one condition, just deny that you are not a catholic and we will send you back home safe and sound. However, this humble saint wholeheartedly replied, if I have a thousand live, I will give them all to Jesus. He died but his life became inspiration for missionaries not to be scared of death. He was remembered because of his tremendous love for Christ. It is difficult but it is the wisdom of God. We have to love until death so that we may have life.
We will always receive rewards as a fruit of our simple love. The Second Book of Kings is giving us a concrete example about this rich woman who was not very fortunate to have a child. She had given all provisions for the Prophet Elisha, feeding him every time he passed by and offered him a decent place to stay. It was unconditional love that she shared which later on paid off. Elisha prophesized that in due time, she will bear a son. Just do it, keep loving and we will never lose reward.